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Chocolate, women and empire: A social and cultural history
     

Chocolate, women and empire: A social and cultural history

by Emma Robertson
 

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From Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Joanne Harris' Chocolat, from romantic gift to guilty indulgence, chocolate has a special place in Western popular culture. But what are the hidden histories behind this luxurious commodity? This book examines chocolate production from cocoa bean to chocolate box, illuminating the dynamics of gender, race and

Overview


From Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Joanne Harris' Chocolat, from romantic gift to guilty indulgence, chocolate has a special place in Western popular culture. But what are the hidden histories behind this luxurious commodity? This book examines chocolate production from cocoa bean to chocolate box, illuminating the dynamics of gender, race and empire which have structured the cocoa chain.

Using a varied range of sources, including oral histories, advertising material and archival documents, and drawing on the author's own relationship to the industry, this book reconnects the people and places at different stages of chocolate production from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. Opening with a critique of familiar images of chocolate presented in adverts for products from Kit Kat to Black Magic, Emma Robertson stresses the need to recognise the complex histories of empire and labour which have made such pleasurable consumption possible. At the heart of the story are the lives of women workers at two key sites: the cocoa farms of Nigeria and the confectionery factories of Britain. Focusing particularly on the operations of the York-based Rowntree firm, the author suggests how chocolate production brought the empire home to a small northern city.

Chocolate, women and empire offers exciting new insights into the lives of women workers in a global industry and a new perspective on the relationships between Britain and West Africa. It will be invaluable to historians of British imperialism as well as to students of Women's and Gender Studies, Cultural Studies and Business Studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780719090059
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
Publication date:
08/27/2013
Series:
Studies in Imperialism Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
1,228,331
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Emma Robertson is Lecturer in History at La Trobe University

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